“If you must go and see it, use binoculars.”
Minister of State for Heritage Malcolm Noonan has issued an official statement on Wally the Walrus, the 800kg Arctic walrus who has been destroying boats of the coast of Cork for the past few weeks.
“While it’s understandable that many people are excited about the presence of a walrus on the Irish coast, we must remember that this is a wild animal and it should be respected,” Minister Noonan said.
“I’m appealing to everyone not to get close and only view it from a distance. This is for the animal’s sake, but also for your own, as there may be risks from a water safety perspective where large numbers of people are congregating on the water.
“Walruses are not a protected species under the Wildlife Act, it’s basically the same as a fox or rabbit under the law, so it’s up to people to cop on and have consideration for this poor wild animal, which is a long way from home. Leave it alone and if you must go and see it, use binoculars.”
Noonan’s statement follows similar calls by Seal Rescue Ireland, who have advised the public to remain at least 100 metres away from the animal, and to stop sharing his location on social media.
Header image via Clonakilty Distillery.